Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday appeared to leave the door open to the U.S. deploying ground troops in Syria in the event the country “imploded, for instance.”
“In the event Syria imploded, for instance or in the event there was a threat of a chemical weapons cache falling into the hands of somebody else and it was clearly in the interest of our allies — all of us, the British, the French, and others. I don’t want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the President of the United States to secure our country,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, debating whether to authorize President Barack Obama’s punitive strike in response to a reported chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.
Asked by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), the ranking Republican on the committee, whether the secretary of state truly believed combat troops could be an option, Kerry walked the comment back by saying he was only “thinking out loud.”
“Let me be very clear now, because I do not want anything coming out of the hearing that leaves any door open to any possibility,” he said. “Let’s shut the door now as tight as we can. All I did was raise a hypothetical question about some possibility, and I am thinking out loud on how to protect America’s interests, but if you want to know if there is any — the answer is what ever prohibition clarifies it to Congress, there will not be American boots on the ground with respect to the civil war.”